Moses commits to piers alone

| 07/06/2013

moses5.jpg(CNS): The new tourism minister has committed to ensuring that both the cruise port facility and the redevelopment of the airport will happen under his watch and will follow process. Moses Kirkconnell said there were some major challenges facing the tourism industry but the Progressives would bring “an holistic approach” to the sector, noting that tourism is everybody's business. He pointed to the need to develop a cruise facility in George Town, which would be the piers only and no upland development as the government wanted to rebuild George Town. The new minister committed to getting the airport redevelopment underway as well. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Deputy Premier Kirkconnell told the press on Tuesday that he was going into a meeting that afternoon regarding the business case model for the cruise berthing facility. He pointed to the need for government to set out its needs for this project and not have the developer tell government what it would do. He said he was picking up the formal process that began under the minority short term PNA administration earlier this year, and that business model, when complete, would form the basis for the project.

Kirkconnell also confirmed that the new government was committed to the redevelopment of the airport, as he spoke about the whole tourism product, starting when we bring people to the islands. He said it was important to understand the market and give tourists a reason to come and something special when they get here.

The need to improve the ports and to recruit more local people into the industry were critical elements, Kirkconnell said, but he also spoke about the need to support the dive sector, which remains a significant part of Cayman’s tourism product — one which is believed to be recession proof. Even when general visitor numbers declined because of the global recession, the number of divers coming to Cayman remained steady, the new minister said, adding that there was a need for more research to understand the numbers of divers coming here.

“We must embrace dive-tourism,” he said, adding that the infrastructure they want needed to be built upon, as he welcomed the success of the artificial reef created by the sinking of the wreck of the Kittiwake off Seven Mile Beach. He said he would be talking with tourism stakeholders in the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) and the dive sector, who have spoken about the possibility of another boat being sunk in local waters to create an additional artificial reef.

There were no surprises when Kirkconnell was confirmed as tourism and transport minister with responsibility for district administration after the PPM won the general election last month. As the first elected member for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman and having been immersed in the tourism industry for most of his career, he was the obvious choice.

Supported by Joey Hew as his councillor, a concept created by former premier McKeeva Bush and embraced by the new premier, Alden McLaughlin, Kirkconnell is facing a heavy workload, which will be the primary source of the anticipated local economic boost.

If the PPM is to have a successful term in office and meet its campaign promises, the cruise port and the airport are key components in the plan to kick start the economy. While these projects were also the cornerstones of the previous UDP administration, as a result of Bush’s refusal to follow due process in regard to both the development of the cruise berthing facility and the airport refurbishment, he failed to start either project.

Keenly aware of those failures, Kirkconnell is determined to ensure that both projects follow the letter as well as the spirit of the law and that they benefit all of Cayman and do not compete with local business but instead boost the still faltering domestic economy.

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  1. Burns Conolly AIA says:


    I feel compelled to make a comment here as I was involved in the design of Red Bay solution.  The Cayman Sea Captains clearly support the Red Bay location. They do this not because of some economic benefit to themselves but from the hundreds of years of at-sea experience they have. Some have commanded the largest ships afloat in all of the oceans of the world, in all weather conditions. So when they speak I think the minimum we owe them is to listen to what they say.

    I have been fortunate to have sat in many meetings with them and with the DOE regarding Red Bay and George Town. As most know I assisted them in illustrating their design and supporting documents which is available on the website "".

    I must admit that when they first said Red Bay I thought 'that cannot possibly work there"…but after listening to them, comparing other harbours in the region and looking at the simulation outputs from the CSMART simulator on similar harbours I changed my mind.

    The website has the Pros & Cons of both locations but I list a few here:

    1. Red Bay creates a full all weather harbour. GT does not and requires Spotts to be developed as well. Bear in mind that when GT is not available happens to be in the middle of our cruise season when the northwesters roll in.

    2. In GT the cruise ships berth side on to the wind. Given the size of these ships berthing in a northeast or easterly wind becomes a very difficult thing to do even with bow thrusters and azipods. At a certain wind level they will simply still by-pass Cayman.

    3. All of the inner reefs in GT harbour from Eden Rock to Cheesburger reef will be lost. Some say there is a chance of impact to the West Bay beach- not sure about that. However everything in the harbour region will be gone or off limits due to security issues of the ships. While the outer reefs in GT are already destroyed through anchoring the inners ones are used daily by our tourist. A big environmental and tourism loss.

    4. Traffic will come to a stand still with 24,000 passengers being dumped onto harbour Drive (we currently get around 12-14,000 on a good day)…in fact our studies show the traffic may be impacted all the way to ALThompson's roundabout. Certain roads in GT will have to be reversed in direction to deal with the flow. The number of taxis and buses into the town centre will be doubled to deal with the additional passengers. Traffic now builds up going into GT as the cruisers leave- just imagine with twice the buses/taxis…total mayhem.

    5. The challenge with funding the GT piers without retail revenue is great. Our government will have to borrow this money and repay it. With the FFR in place that looks remote. I cannot imagine anyone wanting to give us $120-150M to just play with and given the cruise lines history with berthing facilities in the Caribbean they are unlikely to assist without some strings, or should I say ropes, attached. Red Bay was not relying on retail to pay for the piers. It used a different business model.  It seems that the only objectors to the Red Bay location are the GT retailers which I totally understand, If I owned a shop there I would likely be gravely concerned myself, however given that over 80% of all cruisers immediately get on a bus and leave GT it is simple for Red Bay passengers to still be dropped off in town to shop after their tours. Shuttles would run continuously back and forth to Red Bay. Retail at Red Bay would be restricted. This happens in many parts of the world.

    6. Technically, building two piers out towards the drop-off in 80 feet of water isvery, very challenging especially if they have to remain there after a hurricane. Red Bay's piers on the other hand are sheltered by the reef and the proposed breakwater, will be cheaper to build and will not be impacted directly by hurricane waves ever.

    7. The Red Bay design actually supports the mangroves and marine habitats- yes, I know that sounds strange but it is so.  As we know South Sound is periodically ravaged by waves from passing hurricanes and has therefore not increased its conch or lobster counts in 25 years of being a marine park. The design of the Red Bay proposal will create an island between the shore and the reef creating a sheltered habitat for them to grow. It will also allow the mangroves to grow without being wiped out by hurricanes every few years. The breakwater will be a lobster haven. When DOE was asked which was worst environmentally their answer surprisingly was that they "could not immediately say"…that caught my attention!! I was sure they would have said Red Bay. They said they would need an EIA of both locales to really know but they also noted that the economic loss from the environmental destruction in GT would be significant….hmmm. By the way, the western half of the south sound, that area west of the Red Bay dock, is untouched by the proposal.

    I could go on but ask you to carefully look at the website and the data posted there.  Take 20 minutes and review the information. Then make a reasoned decision as to which location is actually better. I think your decision will actually be Red Bay.

    I Welcome any comments….

    • Anonymous says:

      Red Bay for Cargo, and secondary docking option when GT harbour cannot accommodate ships due to weather.

      It's way too late and ludicrously unfair to landlords/businesses/etc to expect consensus on relocating the entire port out of central GT….the correct thing to do is remove cargo, and build a single pier for those ships that want to berth

      that's right….for those that WANT to berth…..because here's the thing Burns, the pressure for berthing is not coming from the cruise lines…..if it was, we wouldnt have massive arrival figure increases for the coming years…..the numbers are heading back to pre-Ivan levels…..the ships dont care about tendering, they dont stay any longer because they're docked…this is a well hidden secret, but its true (hey, even in the new darling port of FAlmouth, they aint staying long)…..because the ships base their economics on fuel…..and they can't stay in cayman longer than 9/10 hours whether they're docked or not if they want to economically make it to the next port of call…….as to those who say the big boats wont tender? contact Carnival about that…..and also ask Royal Caribbean about their 'absolute refusal' to tender the Oasis…its not true…… to tendering taking too long, have you ever seen a picture ofa pier in the caribbean with thousands of passengers lined up and down it waiting to go aboard?  to q is to q…just like at disney….its expected….at least our guys get to go on a nice boat ride in clear seas.

      so red bay for cargo, and to remove the need to spotts….with a single pier in GT and the chance to reclaim the beauty of GT and let the boats and tourists enjoy it…..

      all aboard!

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Connolly XXXX all the sea captains he continues to quote happens to be only one, being Capt Harris McCoy. Red Bay port happens to be over 60 times the environmental impact of George Town and it will take 4 times the number of bus trips per day compared to the boat tender trips we have today. Whilst he wants to destroy South Sound forever more with white/greenist opaque water created by ships propellers re-suspending the dredging silt each day in the water, South Sound only would accommodate a few cruise ships where the rest of the cruise ship would have to anchor in GT as the South side is too rough outside the reef for most of the year. None of his comments hold water except just one which is one of protection from N'Westers. XXXX

  2. Anonymous says:

    One way to help revitalize the water front is to cut down on the number and size of all the cheesy signs.  Cayman has always been thought of as a classy destination.  Our water front buildings do not look it,  it looks more like a cheap traveling carnival.

    • Jonas Dwyer says:

      So that the conversation stays focused please read below:

      Berthing Facilities

      nautical structures built in ports when docks are installed. The chief purpose of berthing facilities is to facilitate a ship’s approach and mooring process. Such structures set along the shore are called quays, while those that protrude into the port waters at an oblique or right angle to the shore are called piers.

      Berthing facilities are subdivided according to design features into solid types, pile-type structures, and structures on special foundations. Solid berthing facilities are built as solid walls composed of large stone blocks or as large-diameter shells. They may also be built as distinct supports, connected with one another—and sometimes to the shore—by spanning structures. Pile-type berthing facilities have either a row of piles that forms a solid wall, or bulwark, or they have a scaffold structure. Among berthing facilities on special foundations are those built on caissons. Berthing facilities are distinguished by cross section as vertical-wall types, sloping-wall types, and mixed types with semisloping or semivertical walls. The last two are used almost exclusively in river ports, where less depth along the dock is required.

      The chief materials used in building berthing facilities are concrete, reinforced concrete, stone, and steel. The type and design are determined by operating requirements and by the warranted minimum depth at the dock, which may be as much as 25 m in seaports. Hydrological conditions, the nature of the base soil, and construction methods are also taken into account.

      Berthing facilities include mooring bollards, bitts, and rings for securing mooring cables. Fenders, which are usually made of resilient materials in various shapes and are suspended in front of the berthing facilities, are provided to soften the impact when the ship is brought alongside or is driven against the dock by the wind. Dolphins are often used as fenders.


      • Anonymous says:

        Please note tht the article also mentions the rebuilding of George Town.  Leaving my commnets above in tune wiht the article. I was focusing on anther part of the article.  so there.  Nah Nah Nah!!

  3. Whodatis says:

    Re: Piers

    This is not a George Town issue or "business community" issue – this issue concerns every Caymanian.

    Personally, I think a comprehensive study (beyond an EIA) should be carried out, presented to the people in full, and finally, a national referendum be held to arrive at our final decision.

    I say this because when one takes a step back and realizes the irreversible potential for disaster if we get this wrong – it clearly becomes a national matter.

    A matter that could determine our future as it regards tourism, the national economy, our threshold for natural disasters and subsequently our national security.

    *For what it's worth, I am currently not convinced that we should construct the piers with environmental concerns (e.g. scuba diving and SMB) topping my list of objections.

    I believe we ought to focus on expanding our airport and runway to further enhance our already thriving stay-over tourism product at this time. Let us get some of the bigger planes arriving from Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia. At the same time, we should probably focus on developing our cottage / boutique hotel industry (with offers of package deals) which will enable more Caymanians to participate in our tourism product.

    • Whodatis says:

      Forgot to include the tourist market in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa in my initial post.

      You know – let us try and target the economies of the world that are functioning as they actually should and not just the flat-liners.

  4. Anonymous says:

    only the blind can't see that this is already dead in the water. it's hogwash. typical political posturing, nothing more. it's not going to happen, they don't have the money. the only thing PPM will do in throughout the next 4 years is hire more civil servants.

    • Anonymous says:

      This must be the "witching" hour…where are these negative, idiotic comments coming from?

      • Anonymous says:

        Obviously they're coming from the kool aid addicts.

        • Anonymous says:

          looks like there are quite a few so-called "kool-aid addicts" …lol I wonder what flavour YOUR kool-aid is? must be the "red" flavour.

          • Anonymous says:

            It is whatever flavor i choose. Hope you don't have a problem with that.

      • Anonymous says:

        more like a truth meter.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Brackas will show you all how it’s done! After all we built g-cayman!


    • Anonymous says:

      It is the advantage of counting in base-11.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yea right! brackers couldnt even get the ship to ship oil transfer going for the second time. R.Scott layed it on the table,  and the local Brac reprsentitives sat on their ass untill the company changed thier minds and went over the curacao.

      They couldnt get the marina built next to Alexander hotel. I remember the blogs against Mr. Dilbert for wanting to create the Marina.

      Come on Brackers, we know whats happening over there…. you losing all your businesses to the new comers.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you guys are as great as you say you are, how come so many of you live off government handouts? Would you mind contributing to the economy rather than being a drain?

  6. Anonymous says:

    These are very weak, but predictably sound-bite laden, proposals from an administration with a prior history of saying much, spending a lot and achieving very little.  An excessive focus on locus business and local employment evidences a superficial "zero-sum game" apporach to the local economy which will only discourage external capital investment.

    • Anonymous says:

      How can this administration have a history? It is only just got started.

  7. Red Flag says:

    No piers, no piers, no piers……Separate cargo facilities and a tender landing, covered, with seats, toilet and water and room for 10 tenders alongside at a time.  The tendering facility should have a break water around it so that loading and discharging would be safe in marginal weather.  If the weather is too bad, cruise ships will not stop anyway, piers or no piers.  The damage proposed by dredging and suspended silt to the coral of the west wall of Cayman will spell the death of diving.  Cayman has a opportunity to stay unique in the Caribbean.  No one…except cruise ship tourists and business owners…like to see huge concrete structures set out over a beautiful blue sea.  Build these abominations for a few businessmen and you will degrade your tourist product substantially.  Think laterally and save a huge amount of money and preserve the beautiful bay that your forefathers left you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Red Flag you sound as if you are someone getting a cut in the tendering.

      The tendering rather than cruise ports is not in the best interest of the country just your pocket.

  8. Anonymous says:

    We want to raise monies for the port and airport, well please take my pension money for the next 25yr at a rate of 4%. It woulr be making more than the corrupt pension companies.. at least iwould know were it has gone….

  9. Anonymous says:

    You know, everyone has an opinion, but upon what information have we drawn our conclusions about whether building piers is a must and to remain a tender port is detrimental to our future?  Have we ever asked/surveyed the cruise passengers that come here what they thought of tendering?  Was it efficient, or was it a pain?  Was it an experience that they enjoyed, or disliked?  Did it add to the mystic of visiting a tropical island, or was it out of date?  Would they prefer piers to tendering if they had a choice?  Have we sat down with the cruise lines to determine what it is they really need and would like to accomplish that perhaps we are not doing such a good job with?  What are the demographics of the persons taking cruises?  What are the challenges our current facilities present if any and what are the options?

    I don't particularly trust either CITA's or ACT's assumptions and proclamations that without piers cruise tourism will die, because how did Cayman get this far without them?

    I think rather than doing what we always did, which was follow the perceptions of every know-it-all, who probably was just looking out for their own interest, and ending up with financial failures like the Turtle Farm and Pedro Castle, we should take a step back and spend 6 months looking at the pros and cons and financial viability of building piers, or remaining a tender port in conjunction with our cruise line partners.  Together we can determine which path will be a financial success to Cayman and its cruise partners.

    • Anonymous says:


      @ poster:  Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 06/08/2013 – 09:05.

      Your approach on this topic is logical. I would add, if after weighing all the pros and cons it was determined that the building of piers were not advantageous (though I believe they most likely are). Then the CIG should not continue to give one entity the monopoly on the tendering services to the cruise ships in port.

    • Anonymous says:

      You need to pull your head out of the swamp and listen and read what is happening.  The cruise companies are considering pulling out of any port in their routes who does not have at least a decent pier.  Every where else in the Caribbean has a cruise pier even if some of the cruise lines actually helped finance the pier.  If you think they are are going to keep coming here without piers think again.  Check your acts before you start to tear down.  Wha happen? KeeKee set you up to spout nonsense.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why don't they look at the other waste around like subsidizing the Cayman Craft Market each year with a manager paid for by the Tourism Attraction Board for what…looking after 15-20 vendor stalls. What a joke?  Pirate's week….another joke.  Tourism Attraction Board…what a joke.   Waste of funds….shall I go on there is a lot more.  Yet the the National Trust gets peanuts each year to protect our environment and heritage.  The botanic park is good but that is half owned bythe National Trust….time to sweep up the waste.


      • Anonymous says:

        Why not give the craft market and Pirates week to somebody like John Foster. There is not another Caymanian as suitable as he especially Pirates week with Bernie not being there anymore. John is a very responsible and likeable man for those jobs.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Red Bay ,Red Bay. If people would get off the idea that 2 piers are not happening we could move this island back in profits . People need to understand that there are a lot of people who need cruise ship business. 

    So get over it . It has to happen …….so where should we put it ? RED BAY, our Sea Captains tell us that is the best place to put it. We pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay consultants to tell us what we already know. Red Bay is the best place.

    Plus the transportation people will make aliving wage .Plus Gov't can then charge them more for a license. 

    My proposal to Gov't and the merchants in town is that we bring the guests from Red Bay to Fort street . Close Harbour drive, Cardinal Ave., Pickup the guests from Boilers road back to Red Bay piers.That way all the guests will walk through all of town. All the stores will get the same amount of customers going in their stores as Dart's stores. Fair and square. Good idea ,eh?  We will need to close down Boilers road after 9:00 am till last ship closes their gangway . 

    Where merengue and the gas station is can remain open.

    Maybe where they want to put that Tower might be a good place to drop off the passengers. From that vantage point people could see the new boardwalk going to 7 mile beach ( more shops would benefit) going north.

    We can beautify Harbour drive with trees and more cafes with tables and chairs. 

    Can anyone else think of something better then what we have there now?

    Dave Miller

  11. 4 Cayman says:

    Moses please ensure an environmental impact study is completed before a tender is considered. I’m no sea captain but I have lived here all my life and I believe these two piers will either take the world renowned Seven Mile Beach or even South Sound completely out to sea. When this happens we will have two nice piers but no beach for the tourists to enjoy.

    Just my two cents and food for thought.

  12. AnOn says:

    Mr. K has the right idea. We need only to get the ships coming, not to cripple GT with Asian upland developement. Now, lets move! No more delays, GT is nearly dead from Mac Mess’ back door deals.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Two of the less qualified rookie members of cabinet are taking e bull by the horns and announcing their intentions loud and clear .
    The Premier has also declared his intention to retain the civil service employees.
    What concerns me is that all three have promised to study the problem and to come up with the best solutions. Ozzie with the dump. Moses with the dock and airport. Alden withreducing government expenses. Having promised to stick with the best possible solutions, they are all poisening the debate by declaring what they will do with their super majority in the house.
    Perhaps there are a few solutions out there that you have not had a chance to hear yet.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jesus! How many solutions does one have to listen to before making a decision??!!

    • Anonymouse says:

      Why do you say that Moses and Ozzie are "less qualified"? It seems to me that they are well qualified as two educated and well-experienced MLAs, particularly with Moses's business background.

  14. Anonymous says:

    An earlier poster mention Red Bay and I support his or her's position. I went to one of the presentations and I also looked on their website (

    When you look at the list of Pros & Cons you start to wonder. When you see all the old Sea Captains support it you wonder even more. When you realize you do not have to build a back-up landing site in Spotts and that they were not proposing any retail out there to compete with Downtown it really caught my attention…But when it was highlighted the disaster these piers would be on traffic in George Town, South Sound and the surrounding areas I began to see the logic and the right choice in that solution in Red Bay. Take a look at their website.

    Hopefully Moses will place it on the table when he is considering those two big piers on the edge of our drop-off there in GT that can only be used in fair weather. Hopefully he will.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh please. Not the “Captains” again. More nonsensical enviro terrorism from everyones favorite South Sound developer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would anyone in their right mind want to swap bus tendering for the boat tendering to ferry people into George Town, remembering that it would take 3 or 4 times the number of the double articulated buses compared to boat tendering. South Sound is an environmental disaster with the largest environmental impact of all the options. Do not be fooled by smooth talk from the south sound port road show.

      • Anonymous says:

        just go ask DOE which is worst…you will be shocked by their answer!

    • Anonymous says:

      George Town Harbour has been pummelled by anchors for 100 years and is of extremely denuded environmental quality. All the shops and infrastructure are there.

      South Sound has no shops or infrastructure and is a residential area. It is an environmentally relatively-healthy shallow lagoon with a fringing coral reef, turtle grass flats, a conch bed, AND THE ONLY MANGROVES OUTSIDE OF NORTH SOUND and you want to destroy it? 



      • Anonymous says:

        DOE has said that the out reeffs in GT are destroyed- you are correct. But the say the INNER REEFS are in good shape (devils grotto, Eden rock, Cali wreck etc etc) Those reefs will all be gone with piers in GT. Please be aware that ALL WATER activity you can see from shore out to the current ship locations will be GONE.  Surprisingly GT has actually a worst Environmental impact than the design in Red Bay. 

        So if you think the GT piers are in such a great location for our tourism go ask the DOE….or any watersport operator. It just a bad idea all around. The only ones pushing george town are the shop owners and Red Bay does not plan to have any shops.

        lets get logical here…

    • Anonymous says:

      Moses like his predecessors do not bring to the job a lot of experience as far asPort development is concerned. He do have some experience in ship operation and comes from a family who knew a lot about the Sea, therefore I can only hope that he will ask questions of those who are experienced, will listen attentively and will use the advice to make the right decisions. I want to suggest that he look at talking to the many Caymanian Sea Captains who can guide him better that the general merchants or John Public.

      • Anonymous says:

        Local Sea Captains are ship drivers and navigators only. None of them have worked on a cruise ship let alone run and operated the cruise line. How can a sea captain of a tanker or bulk carrier be qualified to advise on the cruise industry and the facilities required.

      • Anonymous says:



        I will maintain what i say, take these decision making from the politicians. Not because Moses own a store and runs a business makes him capable of knowing what Cayman needs as a Port.

        You guys are still in the dark ages, you believe that only business men and educated men can decide what this country needs.

        Farmers and shop keepers were the architecs of  developing  one of the greatest country in the world. America.

    • Anonymous says:

      Red Bay is not a viable alternative site to George Town, as the negatives far outweigh the positives for that site. The fact is that all the support infrastructure for cruise passengers (shops, retaurants, banks etc) already exists in George Town, not Red Bay and the cost/viability of relocating these or busing passengers into town is out of the question. Then you have the cruise lines themselves. At the GLF simulation completed in Florida in 2011, the captains of both Carnival and Royal Caribbean made it abundantly clear that they supported George Town as the site for the piers as it provided clear access and egress to open sea, devoid of reefs. Access to Red Bay would be through a restricted channel and turning massive cruise liners within the basin, surrounded by reef, is not something the captains would relish. A mega yacht harbour maybe, but not suited to cruise. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Red Bay was designed off the Nassau harbour design (just mirrored) and guess where all the cruise ships went in bad weather??…yep you got Nassau. Why you ask??? because it is an enclosed berthing facility not exposed to weather. GT will always be exposed that is why they are talking about having to build a backup plan in Spotts….crazy waste of money.

        Also for your information the GLF simulation was ONLY of GT harbour not Red Bay and the captains actually had difficulty berthing side on to the prevailing wind as would happen in GT. I understand from the local sea captains that every cruise ship captain that saw Red Bay supported it to the point that Carnival had to issue a memo to thier captains to not speak about it.

        Red Bay is actually almost as good as the North Sound but that is out of the question obviosuly. Get your facts straight please or stop misleading folks.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Simply build the piers and the only upland developement should be for

    a nice hotel WITH A CASINO !!!!!!  The casinos revenue, if properly managed, could

    easily pay the interest on a note or loan.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps you are unaware that there are casinos on the boats?  Do you think gamblers will rush to establish their Cayman Casino player's card on a few hour shore leave when they have a week-long player card already established on the ship?

    • Anonymous says:

      Is that a fact?

    • Anonymous says:

      Is that you McKeeva?????

  16. Anonymous says:

    Do we really need an airport?


    1.Air arrivals have not increased to any significant level and the global economy has not improved to the level where we need new airport extension versus other infrastructure or projects like building schools first.


    2. Why should we pay for an extension just to appease Shetty Hospital? Maybe we should wait for the hospital to be finished and up and running to determine their 'projected' numbers.


    3. Where will the funds come from during the first PPM term?

    • Anonymous says:

      CIAA has their own cash surplus, but I agree, it should probably be contributed to the collective "saving the nation" CIG pot before it's frittered away.  The flipside is that big planes need more track and better facilities to draw more stayover traffic.

    • Anonymous says:

      The CIAA have been sitting on $10m for quite some time… 

      • Anonymous says:

        Good thing nobody told Mac about it.

      • Anonymous says:

        And how much  you think 10 mil will do for the airport? We need a full redevelopment of our airport, and the only way that will be done, is to go with private public partnership. Unless caymanians can come up with the 200 million to do the job, that is the reality of it all.

    • Anonymous says:

      The airport is already at 180% its design capacity! I know sometimes its empty but check out the situation around midday, especially on Saturdays and Sundays…might even be contrary to fire codes!

      Shetty or not we need to get into the 21st century with that facility. And if Shetty deliveres on promises we have to realize that it would take 3-4 years to execute a new facility from start to completion.

    • J Salasi I. -111? says:

      Man oh man how some man Gowan without deep meditation.

    • Anonymous says:

      My people again…think small and worry big…..not because our islands are small means we must think small also……

    • Anonymous says:

      All you absolutively have to have is a longer runway so you can have more than the smallest 737's.

  17. St Peter says:

    Here is an idea to get the funding locally and benefit Caymanians at the same time:

    Let the Port Authority issue bonds to Caymanians in $10,000 denominations at 3% for 5 years – with interest paid anually.

    $50,000 amounts for 10 years at 4%, and $100,000 amounts for 20 years at 5%. – all with interest paid anually.

    Foreign investors and local registered companies should also be able to invest at a rate of return that is 1% below the local rate…

    In the event that we have a boom developing or have a budget surplus, then  government would have the right to re-purchase…

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you know what current usd interest rates are?  Did you see CUC's raise?  Institutions would buy it all up at those rates and CIG would default and forfeit the asset.  

      • St Peter says:

        Most people will understand the basic idea set out in my post and specific rates are used to get the idea across. The issue is not the rate but the concept as to how to get financing for the port…


    • Anonymous says:

      How many Caymanians do you think have a spare $10,000 lying around to invest much less $50K or $100K??  Additionally it would take 2000 caymanians each investing the $100,000 to pay for the two finger piers and the runway extension alone.  Some how this idea just is not realistic. Even if you then throw in the foreign companies as you suggest the interest rates alone would sink the CIG adding over $12,000,000 per year in outflows added to the current $50,000,000 per year…NEXT IDEA!!

      • Anonymous says:

        At the above-noted interest rates, it would be beneficial to those CIG employees who are members of the credit union to borrow and invest in their country.   I think it's a forward-thinking idea.    Hell, at those interest rates, it would be beneficial for anybody to borrow and invest.   Perhaps we could even borrow against our government-mandated "retirement" account;   my own has suffered terribly — I could've saved more by setting it aside and keeping it in a sock under my bed.  

      • St Peter says:

        If you are young and inexperienced and have no solutions – then it is best that you keep quiet, listen to others, and try to learn!

        If you are middle aged and find yourself thinking negative and resisting new ideas – then you need to reflect on your life and try and make positive changes.

        If you are old and have not accumulated even $10,000 after a lifetime of work – then your criticism and lack of solutions reflect what you have accomplished in your life, and therefore makes your post irrelevant, and invalid…

    • Anonymous says:

      You may be surprise at how many Caymanians might be able to invest in the project. I am confident that monies can easily be found by indidgious Caymanians who are here to stay and not those paper Caymanians who are here for the economic benefits. I guarantee that Cayman population will decreas significantly the day you see it fall like some of our neighboring Caribbean Islands. The only folks that will be left here with us are those who love the free hand outs and have already added to the burden that tax payers are faced with now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly the kind of thing I suggested 24/04 – would love it!

  18. Anonymous says:

    This new professionalism, commonsense,  integrity and vision is too much to absorb all at once after the past four years of abuse. I feel like I've just been released from from a Mexican jail, and the air outside feels fresh and wholseome.

    • Hoping for better days says:

      so you don't remember the 4 years before the last 4? (as in 8 years ago!) right…short term memory. in another 4 years you will be the same one cursing this new government and will say how hard this 4 years to come will have been…same sh** different election year. same ol'. watch!

      • Anonymous says:

        16.02. Yes I do remember the previous 4 years, and the previous thirty. This is different, because now  we have a weighty ballast of  experienced, professionally qualified and uncorrupted representatives in government, financially constrained by the FCO and elected by a people sick and tired of corruption.

        The PPM  received multiple lashings because of their over-spending, and have learned from this, whereas the recently expelled  government gave the impression they cared not a jot for their "mistakes" as long as they resulted in personal profit. They cared even less for the environment. This will  be a great four years for Cayman, just you watch!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Is it really possible that logic is finally going to prevail here?

    • Anonymous says:

      Logic would require a business case before exclaiming that it would be done.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not in mckeeva's books it wouldn't. Anyway, we need it so our visitors will have somewhere decent to come ashore. As a matter of fact we should have had it several years , and several million down the drain, and a stupendous pile of disgrace to our country ago. Does that suit you?

  20. Anonymous says:

    While youre at that Moses see if you can get Julianna to pave the Airport entrance!!

    • Anonymous says:

      She might not be so keen if its not private property.

    • Anonymous says:

      and please convert that foolish heroes square in town to a nice little park where tourists can sit and enjoy a beverage of some local food while shopping in town

      • Anonymous says:

        Without a load more statues and busks – we really have had enough of them!

        • Anonymous says:

          And take down the statue of Jim Bodden. It is disgraceful that he is commemmorated in this way.

        • Anonymous says:

          Typical Caymanian, that is why we will never get anywhere.Non patriotic, we travel all over the world and see statues of their heros. We acknowledge how  these other nations are so  proud of their statues…not us, we tear down one another too much…so sad!

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes – put the benches back for a start.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the road in front of The Strand. It is disgraceful that the road seen by most of our tourists on a daily basis is in such a poor state and yet the roads (and driveways!) on the Brac are so well maintained.

      • Anonymous says:

        Amen to that.  What a terrible road that is.  It'll be a mess again in a matter of weeks when the rains begin.

      • Botla says:

        FFF is the biggest beneficiary of that road. They should at least contribute to its repaving and up keep. Also, the other businesses and of course the restaurants could add a small donation. Helping hands if you will.

      • Anonymous says:

        And Sparky Drive the road to National Concrete with swimming pool size potholes caused by their trucks. Their trucks might last longer if they repaired the damage they cause to that road.  

      • Anonymous says:

        …do you think Madam Speaker might have something to say to explain this?

      • Anonymous says:

        And also Cayman Kai and Rum Point roads! Some of our most affluent residents and visitors utilise these roads daily. Additionally it's just plain dangerous for us all, and to our vehicles!

        For years all that happens is the usual patch-up by NRA which becomes riddled with pot holes at the first days rain.

        Not a good impression at all….for the road to such an otherwise beautiful part of Cayman!

      • Anonymous says:

        That's because there are more ways of buying wotes in Cayman than one.

  21. canadianmoose says:

    Nice to hear that they are not going to build something that is going to compete with the shops in George Town, Caymana Bay is competition enough. There are plenty of vacancies on the 2nd floor of most buildings and I’m sure that the existing shop owners who have made it through recent hard times are thankful to hear this great news. A simple finger pier is all that was ever needed. Good job Mr. Moses, see if we can top this news off with a local contractor doing the work. At least that way most of the money earned during construction would stay here instead of being sent to another country to be spent, win win situation…again, good job.


    • Anonymous says:

      Question for will we pay for it?? No lease space in a george town facility means no third party funding…so how?? pie-in-the-sky unless UK allows us to borrow the money and the answer to that is no…and which local contractor has the expertise to build a dock out in 80 feet of water???

      Folks lets get real here and come up with a real practical solution.

      • Anonymous says:

        If they can cut the corruption and bureaucracy the money is probably already there..

      • Anonymous says:

        Did you forget that a lot of the cruise ship operators who come here are interested, not only in having the piers, but also investing in or bidding for the entire project?

        • Anonymous says:

          …you are missing the STRINGS that are attached. Ask any Caribbean Island that have the Cruise companies involved in their docks and see what responce you get…they wish they never came. They even control which taxis can pick up at the dock. Ship passengers are in complete control of the ship passengers from the time they land on THEIR dock until the walk back on to the ship. No free lunch folks!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Have you forgotten that McAlpine have been a Cayman contractor for decades – in fact, they built the existing docks.  As a major world-wide contractor they are more than capable of undertking this work – check out the website

        And, no, I don't have any connection with them.

        • Anonymous says:

          …..Neither does the local McAlpine have anything to do with the other group in your link other than they were once a part of the other but those days are gone…Sir Robert McAlpine would come in as any other contractor would…..using the local company as front or partner. 

          The fact that McAlpine did the existing docks in 20 feet of water is a big difference from constructing two mega cruiseship piers in 80 feet of exposed water at the edge of a 10,000 foot drop-off!!  Different baby altogether.

          My Disclaimer:  Think McAlpine locally is great company with lots of experience in what they do. I am not a contractor or in the immediate field and yes, I would like to see local companies benefit first…we just have to be logical.

          • AnOn says:

            There are qualified local marine contractors, such as Mac Iron, or McAlpine who have the ability and experience to do this job, AND keep it local.

            • Anonymous says:

              Seriously? A cruise pier in 80-100 feet of water? Which local contractor has that experience? Wake up man. That ain’t no dock in governors sound.

    • Anonymous says:

      Even with a theoretical pier, most tourists would still need to arrive via ferry, since 5-8 cruise ships cannot be reasonably expected to dock at the same pier at the same time and linger for passenger pickup.  Meanwhile, the coral and sponges those tourists came to visit will be choked with suspended silicas from the propwash and ongoing dredging.  Failing 2nd floor chotchkie retailers in GT should re-evaluate their business plan, not put false hopes in a miracle pier.  Esp one that risks endangering the wall diving bread and butter tourism product of the west side of Grand Cayman.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Therein lies the rub. Once we get any kind of pier we will no longer be able to have 5 or 6 or 7 ships in on any given day.The pier space will be booked a year in advance by one particular cruise company with no penalty if they do not use the space.Other companies will remove Cayman from its itenerary, a year in advance as the piers will show booked by their competitor. Later in the year conpany A can, for whatever reason, cancel their stop in Cayman, leaving empty piers (docks) that it is too late for us to fill from other companies as their iteneraries for the year will have been set, without Cayman on them…….. because of "no dockage space" at the time of them making up their iteneraries for the year. Ironic but sad, because we will already have incurred the debt obligations.

        • AnOn says:

          Not to be rude, but really?! Do you not think we would not tender in the additional ships into North and South? This pier woul allow us to gain additional ships, and big boys, like the Genesis Class. If there is an excess of ships (which I hope is a daily issue) the smaller lines, like Holland and MCO can tender in. Win win for everyone.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Dive tourism will not be the magic solution to solve future tourism income to Cayman. The golden years of the dive tourism industry were back in the mid 70's , thru the 80's & into to late 90's.Cayman had a good +30 years of prosperous earnings from it & established itself as one of the worlds great scuba dive destinations, it still is one as a result. The problem is demographics of the people that are scuba diving as a sport-interest & that use it as a tourism focus to go to new places, as well as to re-visit destinations they have already been. Cayman remains one of the top scuba destinations in the world ( if not THE top) but the numbers of the people doing it has been on the decline for some years now. This and the fact it is just too expensive for a lot of people to afford coming here to dive.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman is too expensive a place to vacation just for snorkelling & diving; we need to offer a good all round package that is affordable. Also, due to overfishing, pollution, damaging our reefs, dredging, etc. the diving here is no longer that great.

    • Anonymous says:

      Having dived in a lot of other places I'm not sure the Cayman Islands are really a top dive destination – it was when I first visited but since then I've been to plenty of better places. It is good diving (Little Cayman is great diving) and easy to get to from the USA but you are right it's too expensive and the dive experience has also been ruined by cruise shippers along with excessive development. I remember the great days 20 years ago when you had to queue up to get on the North Wall moorings but things have moved on a lot since then. Too many of the good shore diving sites are now inaccessible and a lot of boat dive sites are trashed. If you add to that (with a few exceptions) silly hotel prices and some no too smart rates for diving you can see why so many dive operators have gone out of business or down-sized over the last decade. Revitalising the dive industry has to start off with getting accommodation costs down.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dredging 30 feet into the soft limestone ironpan combined with high traffic cruise ship propwash will be the last nail in the coffin for the west wall.  Sure, Bahamas and others have done it, but they had little diving product abutting their harbour area.  The turbidity and sediment from Nassau harbour extends miles out into the sea.  How can we expect that issue not to repeat here?  

  23. Anonymous says:

    Still, shouldn't a compelling business model for the pier be published before the pronouncment that it will be done?  

  24. Anonymous says:

    "…piers only and no upland development…"


    Finally, some common sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds good, and it is indeed what would be best for downtown, but where is funding coming from??? Government?? the UK???  this is more wishfull thinking than reality. Surprised Moses said this as an established businessman. Wait for the other shoe to fall…."oops, no money in government coffers this year"

      • Anonymous says:

        to 13;00

        Government dont have to spend any money to  remodel the down town  buildings. Get Mr. Bryan Butler to show them  how its done. Except for the Kirk Building, which is fairly new and already appeasing.

        knock down the old buildings.. one at a time.

        Planning can approve a mix development,  shops, restaurant and commercials on the ground floor. The rest of the floors should be used for residence. The owners of these old buildings wont need to spend a dime. pre-sell the residence and the commercial area. At the same time get Rupert Ackermon to design a new town with landscaping and pedestrian traffic.

    • Anonymous says:


      We keep saying no upland development, but can we in all honesty, not agree on   redeveloping  the town?

      As it is now, the town is dead after5 pm. We will have to do some type of redevelopment to enhance our tourisim product. suppose the weather forecast is fair, and the ships want to stay over night, what are yo going to offer them as night life?

      Im not saying build a new town in front of what exist, but get the owners of those out dated buildings,  to make them more appeasing to the tourist eyes. Even the natives will spend time in town at night.

      Lets take the camana bay theme "work shop and play"  

    • Anonymous says:

      Thats what you think.(.finally some common sense)! lets see how this deal will pan out with the proposals from the developers for  these peirs . Should they want to develop some sort of upland facilities to assist in defraying  the cost, Moses will have no choice. let common sense  and business prevail…. you might just get a big surprise.  

  25. Anonymous says:

    Finally, a Minister that understands that you don't need to worry about how the penthouse will be furnished before the foundation is put in place.

    Now, if we could replicate this way of thinking to all the other departments in government; well perhaps Cayman's future wouldn't be so bleak after all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Capt Moses K is not just a gentleman today but was born one. Some years ago I had to attend a funeral in the Brac for a special relative. I do not have a home there and Capt Mose sent a message to me telling me that I could have one of his places on the South Side to stay in for free. I hardly knew this man and he was not even involved with Politics at that time. From that time I measured him for having a big heart. I prayed hard for him that he would have a land slide victory with at least 100 ahead of anyone else and it was granted by almost double. I have no doubt that he is the most capable for running our Beautiful Cayman Brac as he is a good business man. Again congrats and may God give you endurance and good health to do your job.

  26. Anonymous says:

    So far sounds good…lets hope it happens as planned…

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no plan, and as yet by his own admission, no business case.

  27. Phillip Walton says:

    Tourism is one of the backbone for Cayman Islands success and survival.  Having a quality/efficient ship pier for tourist is a big need.  Tourist complain everyday about the current way of having the ships anchor and getting onto the ferry boats.  This way is very inifficient and waste tourist time.  The tourist need more time to shop, seightsee, etc.

    Also, most vistors that come to the Caymans come there because of the scubadiving and water activities.  So we must preserve and offer excellent services for the tourists.

    Air travel is very essential to Caymans and the visitors that come there.  Focus on improving is a must.  For example, we must improve better air service to Cayman Brac.  The twin otters are not the answer.  Must have a bigger aircraft and dirrect service to the United States.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds good Phillip but digging for the piers in GT harbour will kill some of the best dive spots in Grand Cayman as well as potentially hurt the southern end of 7 mile beach.

      Additionally do you know any island with 1500 people who have a 737 landing there to take them to mainland?? everytime we fly to the Brac in the jet (which I admit I do like) we add one take-off and one landing cycle on the aircraft–for a 15 minute flight!!–no real airline in the world would contemplate that…it brings your C and D checks forward by years and just adds enormous cost to the airline. The correct aircraft for the Brac is the DASH-8–its fast, comfortable, cheap to operate & maintain and has good range.

    • Anonymous says:

      5-8 cruise ships can't dock at a single pier, so there will still be ferries for most.  Dredging creates suspended silt particulate that reduces underwater visibility, chokes the sponges, and corals which the toursists are supposed to be coming to see.  Is this a resonable idea, or just bowing to public ignorance?  

      • Anonymous says:

        Have you heard of  vacuum dredging? lets not make ignorant remarks, just to skull projects.

  28. Waituntilnextelection says:

    Here we go again. UDP now PPM. Clear case of why people get into politics. You can clearly see here that Mr. Moses Kirkconnell is basically there to protect the Kirkconnell family businesses along the waterfront. Only they alone are to get all the opportunities and benefit from the tourism industry.

    What about the families in the Rock Hole area who will clearly benefit from the piers being on the doorstep? Sorry I voted for the PPM.

    As always, the rich in Cayman will get richer and the poor, poorer.

    • Anonymous says:

      It really is too bad when ignorant people make comments like this. 

      I had two small bsuinesses in George Town but due to declining numbers I had to close my stores.  There are many like me that are gone for good now too.  It's easy for someone with no inteligence to look at his last name and make a comment like this but the truth is that many small local businesses like me would still be around if Mr. Kirkconnell had the tourism ministry years ago. 

      I applaud you Mr Moses and I'm glad I voted PPM!  Haters will hate, keep your head up high and don't give in to those looking for hand outs.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think DART has a lot more than the Kirkconnells…

    • Anonymouse says:

      Voted for PPM my @ss.

      Mr. Kirkconnell is protecting the interests of the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Moses has his own businesses and his own money.    I know the man, do you?    He truly cares about our country, and is an excellent spokesman for our islands.      Mr. Mose wants to create sustainabile growth within all three islands.    He isn't into this for benefit to his own pocket, unlike some of the characters of the previous administration.    I would guess that many of us would like him to become Premier……….  that won't happen, and do you know why?   Moses loves the Brac.    He doesn't travel with a chauffeur, he drives a truck.   He doesn't put on airs, and even now that he is Deputy Premier, he is still just as accessible as he ever was.   People who want an audience with Mr. Mose go to his office, and wait their turn.   It's just as simple as that, and a testament to the down-to-Earth nature of the man.    We need more like him. 

    • AnOn says:

      Crab in bucket much?

    • Anny omis says:

      If Moses really wanted to exhibit nepotism he would have called for the pier to be built at Hog Sty Bay rather than at Fort Street. (Hog Sty is the logical choice, given it’s calmer waters). If further located further South it would significantly benefit Kirk Freeport and Bayshore Mall. The fact that he has not done so, even though it is the a superior location, makes your claims nothing short of sour grapes.
      Just FYI, I am an independant GT merchant who believes that a vibrant waterfront benefits not only Kirk’s and Island Company but all downtown merchant, visitors, and residents alike.

      So, stop wasting my time. let’s get on with it, sooner rather than later.

  29. Realistic Thinker says:

    RED BAY RED BAY RED BAY!!! LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!! The three words that define many successful businesses and ventures.  Red Bay is the most logical and practical place for a dock/port. It will be an all weather port  that will be in a protectected harbor. Having the port in Red Bay will reasure that the North Sound will finally be left a protected enviornmental asset for generations to enjoy and benefit. The minor enviornmental impact in Red Bay is  much less than to risk losing 7mile Beach or the North Sound. This will also preserve many of the dive sites that Minister Kirkconnell is also referring to that "we must embrace our dive tourism".  We can also include a marina for visiting mega yachts to enjoy and have the owners comfortable that their vessels are safe and secure. The Red Bay port will insure that  cargo ships can dock in any weather (besides a hurrican) and not have to be on the south side for up to a week sometimes waiting for the weather in town in calm down to unload food and neccassry supplies for daily needs.  The current port is too vulnerable and exposed to the open ocean that could put this island in serious risk someday if it is damaged in a hurricane and deemed unusable.   We need to be planning for 50-100 years down the road, not just to 4-8 years. Now is the time to plan and make the right decisions and reap the wise knowledge and wisdom of our forefathers who recommended this many many years ago. Afterall, they were the gentlemen that built this country for us that we so enjoy today.          

    • Anonymous says:

      Whoever you are you are DEAD RIGHT!!!  Folks lets get everyone around the table and solve this proporely and for our children and their children!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Finally someone with logic who is thinking long term….thank you!!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Piers alone??…well he must have found some money in government that we do not know is there. Piers alone do not make a business case to sink $120-150M in the water out there.  If the government puts the money to put into it thats a different case. lets see this one play out. I am curious.

    • Anonymous says:


      You make the most sensabl comment on this thread. (peirs alone does not make a business case!) No financier or developer is going to drop two peirs into GT harbour, and not to something with the upland situation.

      These existing buildings and layout of our town are  not  condusive to the tourist product. People who think so  are only  fooling themselves….if they think  Moses can pull this off with  just two peirs. lets wait and see it play out. 

  31. Dennis Smith says:

    It would really be nice if we could find a way to build efficiently and retain ownership of both projects. There must be some way that a development company can be formed that is owned by the Caymanian population and still meets FFR requirements. Any creative finance people on this Island?

    • Anonymous says:

      Surely you meant "anyone on island with $300-400,000,000??"  Think we can only think of one Caymanian with that type of cash and most of you dont like him…, creative finance or not its overseas money doing this.

  32. Anonymous says:

    All sounds great, but where is the money to do this going to come from?